Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. We’re familiar with grace, we all know it and love it. We know that without grace we would be nothing. We would find ourselves having to account for all our imperfections and we would be unable to do so. There is no way we can pay the price for our sins, but thankfully we don’t have to. We don’t deserve grace, and yet we have received it.
Truth on the other hand. When was the last time you heard a song being thankful for truth? Amazing Truth how logical the sound… We don’t hear it that often, and yet here we see that Jesus’ ministry wasn’t just about grace. It was also about truth. In a day and age where truth is constantly being questioned, this is something we should be very thankful for. We should be thankful because we know the truth. Not only do we know the truth, we know Truth himself. We have access to Truth.
Because of our relationship with Truth, when we are confronted with lies and doubts, we know who to turn to. So, what is the truth? John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Yes, grace is amazing, but so is truth. Look here – the truth – which is following Jesus’ teaching – will set us free. Jesus didn’t say grace, he said truth.
John 14:6-7 – “6 Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you have known me, you will know my Father too. And from now on you do know him and have seen him.” Notice that Jesus said I am the way the truth, and the life. He didn’t say I am the way, the grace and the life.
We cannot separate grace from truth. Yes, we need grace. Yes we need to preach grace. But yes, we need truth. Yes we need to preach truth. Yes we need to learn and live truth. We can’t rely on grace and not seek out the truth.
15 John testified about him and shouted out, “This one was the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’” 16 For we have all received from his fullness one gracious gift after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.
The Testimony of John the Baptist
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed—he did not deny but confessed—“I am not the Christ!” 21 So they asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not!” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No!” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Tell us so that we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John said, “I am the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 So they asked John, “Why then are you baptizing if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not recognize, 27 who is coming after me. I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal!” 28 These things happened in Bethany across the Jordan River where John was baptizing.
29 On the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one about whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him, but I came baptizing with water so that he could be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending like a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. 33 And I did not recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining—this is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have both seen and testified that this man is the Chosen One of God.”
Ask God to show you ways in which you have been merely relying on grace. God doesn’t want us to just continue to live day to day, making the same old mistakes. He wants us to know the truth Christ preached and to live it out. Ask God to show you the ways you haven’t been living out the truth Christ preach, and then ask for his help in living in them.